irobi, Dec 2: Chicago Marathon champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya said she will focus on improving her world half marathon record in 2016 rather than winning gold at the Rio Olympics.
Kiplagat, who failed to finish at the Delhi Half Marathon last Sunday, returned to Kenya late on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
“I wanted to win in Delhi, but my body could not respond. Fatigue certainly was a big concern to me and I had to pull out to avoid more injury,” Kiplagat said.
“I will rest now and hope to return stronger in the new year as I plan for another world record in the half marathon and victory in the big city marathons,” she said.
However, on her prospects for the Olympics, the 28-year-old said she is keen to focus her plans on what she can achieve and what is within her consideration.
“To make the Kenya team is not entirely upon me. There are other people involved and I will not stop my programme to see if I will be selected to compete for Kenya in Rio. When the time comes and I have done enough to warrant inclusion in the team, then I will adjust accordingly,” she added.
Kenya has over 50 athletes who have run under two hours and 30 minutes, which is the cut-off point for qualification in the Olympics, and to select the best three will be a difficult task for the coaches’ panel.
Kiplagat is not ready to put her programme on hold and said her ambition is to improve her global mark in the half marathon.
“I am motivated to complete the half marathon under 65 minutes and I am working hard to achieve my career best feat,” said Kiplagat, whose world record is 65:09 minutes.
Kiplagat’s first completed marathon at Berlin in 2011 was a sensatiol success. She returned to Berlin in 2013 and won again. In February 2014 at Barcelo, Kiplagat set a half marathon world record of 1:05:12 hour which she lowered to 1:05:09 hour this year in March. In October she won the Chicago Marathon. (IANS)